Candied Pecan Recipe

Got a hankering for something sweet but you don't want to settle for the processed sugar of candy yet also don't want to take the effort of whipping up a cake or pie? Then how about the perfect middle road: this candied pecan recipe. Candied pecans are a great treat because they not only satisfy that sweet tooth but they also pack in vitamins and minerals, protein, fiber, and almost no carbs.

And don't worry if that sweetness hankering is pressing: This recipe from Nathaniel Lee, chef and food writer behind Beginner Food, will take you less than an hour from initial prep to first (sweet) taste, and that's with 15 minutes to let the finished nuts cool. What will you do with your tasty DIY sweets once they're done? Lee says: "I actually used them to top crepes, and they go amazingly well in pancakes, too, whole or crumbled. We use them in winter salads, as ice cream toppers, in cookies, and more."

"Admittedly," he adds, "at least half always get eaten pretty much right as they cool — they are that addicting."

Gather your ingredients for this candied pecan recipe

For a classic candied pecan recipe, you'll want three cups of raw pecan halves, a quarter cup of granulated white sugar, a quarter cup of brown sugar, two teaspoons of ground cinnamon, a teaspoon of nutmeg, one teaspoon of cloves, a teaspoon of salt, and one egg white.

Once you have tried this recipe, feel free to play around with the spices some, even adding spices like a cayenne for some heat or cocoa powder for a chocolate profile. And you can back off on the amount of sugar you use, too. And as nuts keep well, take a note from Lee: "When it comes to pecans, I always buy them in bulk so I always have some on hand to make these candied pecans."

Let's get started on this candied pecan recipe

Place the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt together in a small bowl and stir until they are completely mixed. Next, in a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until they becomes foamy, but do not whisk so much that peaks form (like you would for something like meringues).

Add the raw pecan halves to the egg whites, and fold together until all of the nuts are thoroughly coated. This is a good time to preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and to line a baking sheet with parchment paper for your candied pecan recipe.

Coat the nuts with sugar and spice for this candied pecan recipe

Assuming there is not residual egg white at the bottom of the bowl, go ahead and start sprinkling in the sugar and spice blend. On the other hand, if there is standing egg white left over, transfer the nuts to another bowl and coat them there (or wash the bowl you were using before).

Take time and use your hands as needed to make sure all of the nuts for this candied pecan recipe are evenly coated with the sugar and spice blend so they will cook evenly (and taste great too, of course). Adding the sugar/spice blend slowly will help provide you with this even coating.

Finishing off this candied pecan recipe

Spread the prepared candied pecan recipe out onto that baking sheet you prepared with parchment paper. (Said paper is not necessary, for the record, but you'll have quite a cleanup if you cook these on an unprepared baking sheet. Just fair warning!)

Bake the nuts at 325 degrees for 15 minutes, then pull the tray from the oven and use a spatula to flip the pecans over, or just stir them around and re-spread them out. Be as quick as you can here, and then out them back into the oven to bake for another 15 minutes.

Now, pull the tray out of the oven, lift the paper off it and lay it somewhere flat, and let the nuts cool for 15 minutes. Now, it's time to enjoy.

As for storage tips, Lee says using a container that's "air-tight with no moisture will let [the nuts] preserve decently well with the sugar, but I'd still recommend finishing them off in a week or two."

Candied pecan recipe directions
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This candied pecan recipe is a great treat because it satisfies that sweet tooth and pack in vitamins and minerals, protein, fiber, and almost no carbs.
Prep Time
Cook Time
candied pecan recipe served
Total time: 40 minutes
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups raw pecans halves
  • 1 egg white
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Mix the sugar, spices, and salt, and set the blend aside.
  4. Whisk the egg whites till foamy — do not whisk to peaks.
  5. Add pecans to the egg whites mixture and fold together until all pecans are coated.
  6. Dust with the spices until fully coated.
  7. Spread nuts out on baking sheet, then bake for 15 minutes. Flip/stir the pecans and bake 15 minutes more.
  8. Let cool for 15 minutes and enjoy.
Calories per Serving 243
Total Fat 21.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 13.4 g
Dietary Fiber 3.2 g
Total Sugars 9.7 g
Sodium 97.5 mg
Protein 3.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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